Silence is golden but feedback is platinum

We received an impressive number of responses to last week’s survey, thank you to everyone who took the time to participate. We really appreciated your kind words and encouragement!

Based on the comments and feedback, we’ve made the decision to pull our Kickstarter campaign.

For everyone who backed us, please fill out your contact info as soon as possible so that we can contact you with special details!

Why are we cancelling?

We didn’t get the traction we had anticipated on Kickstarter for a number of reasons:

  1. Most Kickstarter supporters are VR enthusiasts who would prefer a polished consumer headset instead of a developer kit.

  2. Because some key features are still in development, some supporters wanted to hold off on purchasing.

  3. The price was perceived to be a bit high considering that we cannot show all the features. We can’t wait to show you our new OLED screen when we receive them 😉

So, instead we decided to go back to the drawing board to focus our efforts on developing the consumer version of Totem.

Once again, thanks for your ongoing support – your commitment is crucial.
We’re making huge strides in our development and we are excited to create the future of VR!

Totem gears up for its Kickstarter Launch!

We’re launching on Kickstarter: real soon.

Yes, that’s right – we’re finally on our way to making a huge Kickstarter splash! We’ll be sure to send you an invitation the day of the launch so you can take advantage of our early bird pricing as well as special bundled packages of Totem. Our anticipated launch date is mid-September so feel free to be social and help spread the word – Vrvana Totem is coming!

See Totem LIVE at MTLVR – September 18, 2014

For those in Montreal be sure to check out our next product demo at MTLVR at Notman House, 51 Sherbrooke West.

See you in the metavrse,

The Vrvana Team

First basic demos and a name change

First basic demos at MTLVR

Two weeks ago we had our first public demos at MTLVR, let’s call them pre alpha alpha! 😉 This comprised of an 1080p LCD screen and our custom PCB, all mounted inside the 3D printed model you’ve already seen in photos. We showed a few stereoscopic videos and that was enough to get some wows. Even though the LCD had most people praising it, the plan is still to replace it with a low persistence OLED panel within a few months. Porting the head tracking from our last gen prototype is almost finished and we hope to be able to show it in the next few weeks. We’re also busy getting an UE4 plugin ready.




Friendly guinea pigs (they survived). Thanks for your feedback! 😉

And a name change to Vrvana!


We’ve also decided to take a huge step and change our branding. Why? “True Player Gear” is long-winded and we’ve heard pretty much every possible permutation of those words. It also caused some confusion at times: “Wait, you guys aren’t making hip hop clothing!?”. But most importantly, we felt it did not reflect our long term vision for the company, which is that VR should not be limited to gaming but also be open to simulations, education, medicine, architecture, etc. After a long thought process, we are renaming the company to Vrvana (pronounced “ver-vana”) and are introducing a new logo to reflect the change. We hope you’ll like it, but let’s not get too distracted – the plan is still to do a Kickstarter by the end of summer!

See you in the metavrse,
Marc-O and the Vrvana team

New office, E3 and what’s next

New beginnings

It’s been a while since the last newsletter! A lot has happened in the past month. We moved out of Bertrand’s basement and into real offices. Jean-François and Yan, our two electrical engineers, quit their jobs and are now working full time on Totem.

The office
The office

E3

In the weeks leading to E3, we crunched to get a working demo. The PCB is entirely debugged, but unfortunately we had a setback that prevented us from showing a prototype up to our standards. Datasheets are often lacking and grabbing manufacturers’ attention isn’t always easy!

The great part about E3 was meeting some of you at the VRLA Meetup. The not so good part: bed bugs, a bathroom door that had to be opened with a crowbar and forgetting a USB programming cable on the plane!

Debugging in the hotel room
Debugging in the hotel room

What’s next

Ironing out the last hardware issues.
Completing the Unreal plugin.
Getting the Kickstarter ready.
We are pumped about reaching these milestones ASAP!

Mini FAQ

We’ll put a FAQ on the web site, but here are a few answers to questions we receive regularly:

When can I buy the Totem?
Our plan is to do a Kickstarter before the end of summer.

See you in the metaverse,
Marc-O and the TPG Team

And the winner is…

Totem!

A few weeks ago we asked our beloved subscribers for suggestions for a product code name. We received over one hundred suggestions and thinned them down to six: Totem, Portal, Taku, Photon, Link and VoiR. Then they voted for their favorite and out of a thousand votes, more than a third were for Totem. Here are the results in full, pie charty goodness :

Thank you for participating, we are delighted to have such an active community!

Sorry, I don’t have any exciting pictures to share this time. We were on the road last week and visited Valve and VRcade. The Valve demo is impressive and is the experience we want to deliver at consumer prices. We will be collaborating with them to provide the best possible VR experience. We also had a chance to try out VRcade’s mocap setup and it is very promising!

See you in the metaverse,
Marc-O and the TPG Team